Laura Mercier, Livermore
The Dec. 24 issue of this paper included an article titled, “Supervisors Greenlight Buildings in Wine Country,” in which I was inaccurately quoted to imply that the Tri-Valley Conservancy (TVC) has changed its long-held position in support of the voter-approved Wine Country Hotel at the Bankhead.
TVC was formed and funded to preserve agricultural open space and help promote the goals of the South Livermore Area Plan, which envisioned a variety of visitor-attracting lodging options commonly found within a world-class wine country. These include bed and breakfasts (typically less than 14 rooms), small inns (30 rooms), boutique downtown hotels walkable to local restaurants (120-140 rooms) and a luxury resort and spa in a rural setting.
The action taken by the board of supervisors in December is unrelated to the much-needed development of agritourism in our region, but rather allows non-visitor serving agricultural-use buildings to moderately expand to reach an economically sustainable size.
Separately, TVC continues to work with other community stakeholders to develop an agritourism plan for our valley that will address our need for appropriate food and lodging services, as well as other visitor-attracting amenities, without sacrificing the rural character of our beloved region. TVC pays particular attention to the preservation of open space - including vineyard, orchard, and park lands - and the protection of our ground water, view sheds, habitat corridors, and urban growth boundaries.